Navigating Impact: A Researcher's Guide to Metrics and Profiles

Posted on: 15 March 2024 by Mareike Wehner (Number of words: 305; Read time: 1 minute, 28 seconds) in Blog posts

Portrait of Mareike Wehner
Mareike Wehner

Mareike Wehner, Research Publications Metrics Officer within the Libraries, Museums and Galleries at the University of Liverpool, discusses how to navigate the world of research metrics and profiles.

In the sometimes-intimidating landscape of academia, understanding the dynamics of metrics and researcher profiles is often surrounded by much uncertainty, and the buzzword "impact" blurs the lines with shifting definitions, adding an extra layer of intrigue (to phrase it positively) to the mix. 

By demystifying metrics, embracing profiles, and adhering to responsible practices, researchers can navigate the academic landscape with impact, leaving a lasting imprint on the scholarly world. 

Bibliometrics and Altmetrics  

Bibliometrics, the traditional method of assessing research impact through citations within academia, has long been a cornerstone - but certain types of metrics such as h-index and Journal Impact Factor have been receiving criticism regarding their relevance. Moreover, initiatives like DORA (signed by the University of Liverpool in 2016) mean a commitment to avoid bibliometrics in research assessment, and to value the individual output over the venue of publication. Meanwhile, alt(ernative) metrics consider online engagement, policy and patent mentions, and other indicators from the ‘real’ world 

The Importance of Researcher Profiles 

Researcher profiles like ORCID act as digital hubs that consolidate your academic journey. These profiles not only showcase your publications and activities (a great basis for Narrative CVs!) but also serve as gateways for collaborative opportunities by increasing your visibility within the academic community, and act as data sources for metrics providers as well as global university rankings. 

The Connection of Metrics and Researcher Profiles

Infographic on the connection of metrics and researcher profiles


The graphic shows how a selection of systems that are most used at the University of Liverpool are connected: firstly, there’s the internal system Liverpool Elements, which feeds the repository and other internal profiles. It is at the top of a pyramid with two more systems, ORCID and Scopus, underneath. All three systems, i.e. Elements, ORCID and Scopus are able to share data if manually connected. Scopus links to citation metrics and alternative metrics, with mostly Scopus-indexed publications used to create these metrics. ORCID feeds both into citation metrics via e.g. Dimensions AI and alternative metrics via e.g. Altmetric Explorer. ResearchGate is only connected to ORCID by receiving data, but does not link to any other system, its bibliometrics are unrealiable and it does not provide alternative metrics. While Google Scholar does give quantitative measures, the data sources are unclear, so there might be duplicates that make the metrics unreliable.

Your To-Do List for Impactful Profiles 

Make use of profiles: Take the time to curate your researcher profiles, emphasizing your unique scholarly contributions and the real-world impact of your work. 

Mareike is delivering a workshop as part of Making an Impact 2024 to help researchers discover the power of researcher profiles, metrics, and responsible metric use to maximise their impact. 'Your Researcher Profile: How to Maximise Impact with Metrics' is taking place on 22nd May 2024, 14:30-15:15 BST online. Find out more and reserve your place here:

About the author

Mareike Wehner (she/her) is the Research Publications Metrics Officer within the Libraries, Museums and Galleries at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her role focuses on university-wide initiatives aimed at promoting awareness about the responsible use of metrics, and the ways researcher profiles can help staff and students involved in research keep their research activities organised. Previously, she worked in the academic publishing sector in digital products management.

Further Reading

Responsible Metrics: 

Researcher Profiles: (includes video) 

The Bibliomagician: